With decades of experience in the civic sector, Marcia Ballinger and Lars Leafblad work with foundations, nonprofits and institutions of higher education to help them make important decisions about leadership hires. In this episode of the podcast, Ballinger and Leafblad talk about what organizations must think about when recruiting new leadership and how they can include stakeholders.
“One of the best signs of a financially healthy nonprofit is a nonprofit that ends its operating year with a surplus," says Kate Barr, executive director of Nonprofits Assistance Fund. Barr has been making meaning out of financial information and strategies for decades, with stints as an arts administrator and a bank executive. Her goal is “to help people connect the dots between mission and business model.” In this episode, Barr talks about how funders consider which organizations they elect to collaborate with or support. She also explains the challenges of a one-size-fits-all approach to evaluating whether an organization qualifies for funding, and she breaks down the idea of core mission support.
Bush Foundation communications director Dominick Washington joins us to explain what he calls “Whole Pig” philanthropy, a way of trying to have an impact at every level and part of an organization. He also talks about how his political and nonprofit background informs his philanthropic work and the ways he thinks about partnerships and cross-sector relationships. He also covers the use of budgetary systems as models for other operations and how to encourage a culture of collaboration within an organization.
MCF President Trista Harris shares her take-aways from a training at the Institute for the Future and provides a look at where philanthropy is headed. She also talks about what hover boards mean to philanthropy.
Ho Nguyen is a program officer at PFund Foundation. Formerly, she was the grassroots advocacy coordinator with Pro-Choice Resources, and she has been actively engaged in anti-racist work and social justice strategies for over a decade. Her background is in housing, homelessness, poverty, and ensuring that all people and families have access to safe and affordable housing. She is currently on the Board of Directors for the MN Coalition for the Homeless.
Leah Goldstein Moses founded The Improve Group in 2000 with a vision to improve programs and organizations that impact the world. In this conversation, we talk with Moses and The Improve Group’s research and evaluation director Jennifer Obinna about how grantmakers can and should be using evaluation in their work. They address best practices in evaluation, the importance of thinking through how evaluation aligns with your identity as a foundation, building evaluation capacity, how to decide when to bring in outside help for evaluation and what to do with evaluation data once you’ve captured it. They also talk about setting realistic expectation for the outcomes of investing in evaluation and share why they are personally passionate about their work.
This past September, Sarah Eagle Heart became CEO of Native Americans in Philanthropy. Eagle Heart is a 2014 recipient of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s “40 under 40 Award,” which recognizes emerging Native American leaders who have demonstrated leadership, initiative and dedication and made significant contributions in business or their community. She is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Nation of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and she has a master's in business administration, a BA in mass communications and a BA in American Indian studies.
Beth Zemsky is a community organizer, educator, psychotherapist and organizational leader. In this interview, Zemsky talks with Alfonso Wenker, MCF's director of program strategy and racial equity, about her multidisciplinary approach to intercultural organizational development.
“My life has been focused on a deep belief that education is a liberating force in human development," says Dr. Eric Jolly, new president and CEO of Minnesota Philanthropy Partners. In this episode, MCF president, Trista Harris sits down with Jolly for a conversation about his transition from decades spent working in academia and the non-profit sector to the world of foundations. He talks about the unique role community foundations play in philanthropy, the outpouring of support he's received from the sector, where Minnesota Philanthropy Partners is as they celebrate 75 years and where they're headed in the next 75.
Terri Ann Lowenthal is a nationally recognized expert on the census and a consultant specializing in the census, the federal statistical system and the use of data for policy purposes. Lowenthal is currently part of The Census Project, a nonpartisan collaborative of census stakeholders supporting the census and other vital Census Bureau programs. Go to censusprojectblog.org for her writing on the subject. In this interview, Lowenthal talks about the importance of the census and the American Community Survey and gives examples of how the collected data is used. She talks frankly about how and why certain legislators and politicians are trying to disrupt data collection and the census overall.
Molly de Aguiar directs the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation’s media grants, while also managing the foundation's communications initiatives. She’s working at the intersection of grantmaking, communications, media and community building. In this interview, she talks about tools and the ways grantmakers can tell their own stories as well as the stories of their grantees. Go to www.grdodge.org to see more.
Akhtar Badshah is the founder and chief catalyst of Catalytic Innovators Group. He led Microsoft’s global community investment and employee program for 10 years. Badshah spoke at the 2015 Minnesota Council on Foundations Annual Conference. In this interview, he talks about impact investing, mission-driven corporate giving, and the importance of putting a face and name to the communities grantmakers serve.
MCF President Trista Harris sits down for a wide-ranging conversation with Paul Williams, president and CEO of Project for Pride in Living. Topics they discuss include the need for grantmakers to view communities as assets, the importance of scale in making a real impact, and his wish for philanthropy to create greater leverage with government.
Trista sits down for a wide-ranging talk with Paul Williams, president and CEO of Project for Pride in Living. Topics they discuss include the need for grantmakers viewing communities as assets, the importance of scale in making a real impact, and Paul's wish for philanthropy to create greater leverage with government.
Bob Tracy, MCF's director of public policy and communications, talks to George Cheung about The Joyce Foundation's democracy strategy, the meaning of civic engagement grantmaking and resources grantmakers can use to learn more.
MCF president Trista Harris speaks with Jenny Harms, network manager at the national Council on Foundations. They discuss the benefits of infusing regional foundation associations, such as MCF, with ideas from across the country.
Mary Jane Melendez of General Mills Foundation talks to MCF president Trista Harris about the General Mills approach to grantmaking and its work with Hunger-Free Minnesota.
Chris Cardona, director of philanthropy at TCC Group and speaker at the 2014 MCF Annual Conference, speaks to Alfonso Wenker, MCF's director of program strategy and racial equity, about how philanthropy can be more accessible to underserved communities.
In her role at the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, Trish Tchume hears a lot about what young people in the sector need to do to develop their leadership skills. Tchume talks with MCF president Trista Harris about the five most important things organizations can offer. She also discusses the work YNPN has done with Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy to bridge the divide between foundations and nonprofits.
Phil Buchanan, president of The Center for Effective Philanthropy, talks with Trista Harris, MCF president, about effective practice in philanthropy, tools offered by CEP, and advice for what foundations can do when they're interested in starting down the path of more effective grantmaking.
Mark Lindberg, director of relief, recovery and development at the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, tells MCF president Trista Harris about the foundation's relief and resilience program, its focus on lower-attention events that don't typically receive much philanthropic support, and its interest in engaging local community members as key partners.